By Jason Pribila ringside in Atlantic City: The last time HBO Boxing aired a 40-1 underdog opposite of the NBA’s All Star weekend, Buster Douglas shocked the world by knocking out Mike Tyson. On this night we had Gavin Rees of Wales attempting to upset the Adrien Broner apple cart.
Leading up to the fight Broner gave Rees little respect. He often called the challenger to his lightweight title a “midget”. This is apparently acceptable behavior when someone that stands at 5’7” is able to tower over his opponent.
Rees came out channeling his inner “Buster” for the opening round, at least. Broner seemed amused by his foe’s willingness to trade, but soon began measuring and countering him in the second.
The third round of a fun and quickly moving fight featured the two trying to show each other up. Matters turned serious when Broner trapped Rees against the ropes. A little opening, and Broner barged through it with a sizzling combination.
In round four Broner alerted the ringside press (specifically me) that they can’t glance at their pc’s or they will miss a knockdown. I’m told it was a right hook that sent Rees to the canvas.
Between rounds trainer Gary Lockett (the same Lockett that became acquainted with the Boardwalk Hall canvas when he challenged Kelly Pavlik for middleweight gold) was close to stopping the fight. Rees convinced him to continue.
As the fifth began, Rees was charging head first into Broner’s leather. The tough as nails Rees pointed at his chin, and the standing crowd roared in approval. Broner delivered a shot to the liver and dropped Rees to a knee. The end was near and another Broner flurry was enough to cause the towel to be thrown from Rees corner.
The fight was waved off at 2:09 of the fifth.
As Broner’s fans and detractors know, the show isn’t over when the bell rings. When asked who was next during his post-fight interview, Broner again reminded HBO’s Max Kellerman that anyone who wants it “can get it”.
After Broner described the action of the bout, Kellerman rattled off the number of punches he throws well. He then asked Broner what is best shot was. On cue, Broner said, “When I take a picture”.
And like a flash, another Broner visit to Atlantic City was history. Over one million people watched his masterful performance in November against Antonio DeMarco. His return bout saw an increase in attendance, with the official number being announced at 4,812.
The more Broner performs like he has on back to back visits to the Boardwalk, expect those numbers to escalate. In the meantime, everyone can sit back and play fantasy matchmaker, and determine who will be the next prize fighter with a “Problem”.